Children’s dental health improving in Glasgow

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Research has shown that standards of dental health amongst children are improving in Glasgow for the first time in many years.

Figures released by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde confirmed that rates of tooth decay have fallen significantly, with 60 percent of children aged 11 getting a clean bill of health during dental check-ups; this is a 19 percent increase since 2005.

The new figures are thought to be down to a significant investment in dental health in the area; since 2005, seven million pounds have been ploughed into the Glasgow and Clyde region after it was revealed that a large proportion of children were suffering from oral health issues, including tooth decay.

Glasgow has suffered from poor oral health for decades and is historically linked with having the worst standards of oral health in Western Europe; however, the new statistics show a marked improvement and standards are now the highest they have ever been.

The money has been used to provide preventative treatments and improve education for children; professionals have been spending time in nurseries and schools teaching children how to brush their teeth and a new fluoride varnish programme to protect the teeth and promote good oral health. Now, 97 percent and 94 percent of primary one and two classes hold teeth cleaning sessions to talk to children about cleaning their teeth and teach them about oral hygiene.

As a result of the investment, the number of children being admitted into hospital for dental treatment has fallen significantly and the number of children registered with an NHS dentist in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area has increased to well above the Scottish average.

Representatives from the Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board and local dentists have welcomed the latest figures and are ecstatic that standards have improved so significantly in tandem with NHS investment; however, there are still many children with tooth decay and the board must continue to work to reduce levels of decay and promote better oral health.

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